Grants given to help young women, disadvantaged adults and job seekers

Published: Wednesday, 16th September 2015

Oxford City Council has given grants totalling £1,568 to three groups in the latest round of funding from its small community grants fund.

The Council gave £700 to the Young Women’s Music Project to contribute towards music sessions for young women aged between 14 and 25 from Blackbird Leys and Barton.

Olivia Havercroft, chair of the Young Women’s Music Project, said: “Barton and Blackbird Leys are in the most deprived five per cent of places in the whole of the UK in terms of young people’s education.

“We use music to educate young women, provide a creative outlet to work through problems, and provide a space to form social links and just have a good time.

“We are really excited about the grant because, although we have been running as an organisation for a while now, this is the first grant we have received to run workshops in this area. It really opens up a lot of new opportunities for us and young women in Oxfordshire.”

Young Women’s Music Project has been running for 15 years and offers twice-monthly workshops for women aged 14-25, which provide an inclusive and supportive space for young women to make music together, learn new skills, express themselves, and grow in confidence.

More information about Young Women’s Music Project.

The City Council also gave £497 to Oxfordshire Advocacy to train its advocates in how to better communicate with those suffering from dementia.

The charity works with about 500 people a year and provides support to disadvantaged adults so that their views are heard.

Volunteers help write letters or attend meetings, supporting clients through issues including housing, employment, legal rights, benefits and debt.

Oxfordshire Advocacy fundraising officer Susan Bowers said: “A high proportion of our clients come from Oxford city, so it is great for us that Oxford City Council recognises the work we do and is supporting it.

“People are ageing and dementia is unfortunately on the increase. This money will help us empower our volunteers to understand the communication problems that can arise with dementia and understand the perspective of a dementia sufferer.”

Oxfordshire Advocacy currently has 45 volunteers that could benefit from the dementia training.

For more information about Oxfordshire Advocacy, to donate or to volunteer, please visit the Getting Heard website.

A further £371 was given by the City Council to the Oxford Polish Association to contribute towards the group’s job seeking and IT sessions.

The job seeking sessions, which are run fortnight and are open to everyone, teach people how to write CVs and apply for work. The IT sessions are for local people over 50.

Oxford Polish Association chairperson Ewa Gluza said: “This will be a big help.

“Most of the people we support are actually working, but some of them have a high level of education but are still working in low-skilled jobs. We wanted to push them to find a job with their qualifications.”

Oxford City Council gives almost £9,000 of grants every year to community and voluntary groups from its small grants programme – along with hundreds of thousands of pounds from other grant pots.

Councillor Christine Simm, Board Member for Culture and Communities, said: “It is always a privilege to be able to help community and voluntary groups in Oxford and the fantastic work they do.

“I am really pleased that we have been able to protect and maintain the level of grants we hand out every year.”